Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham-Report

A wasteful Aston Villa was held to a 1-1 draw at home to Fulham as it failed to move further away from the Premier League relegation zone.

The first half was played at a good tempo, with the home side creating some good chances, although the Cottagers were unable to create many of their own.

The Villains took the lead thanks to Charles N’Zogbia, but Fabian Delph’s own goal just 10 minutes later prevented them from taking all three points.

Both sides began the game brightly and at a good tempo, although Damien Duff was forced off in the opening 10 minutes for the visitors after suffering a groin injury.

The first chance of the game fell to Villa in the 24th minute as Christian Benteke found himself unmarked five yards out but put his shot over the bar.

Moments later, Benteke played a superb pass into the box from the left to find N’Zogbia, whose half-volley was hammered on target but saved brilliantly by Mark Schwarzer.

The Villains were nearly punished for their wastefulness after 42 minutes, as Dimitar Berbatov took down a pass and saw his lashed shot blocked away by Schwarzer. The goalkeeper was called into action once again by a stinging N’Zogbia shot in the 44th minute, which he palmed away for a corner to keep the game scoreless at halftime.

The second half began similarly, and within 15 seconds of the restart Weimann ploughed forward, with his placed shot forcing Schwarzer to make a good low save.

Just five minutes later Villa was nearly punished as Berbatov was played through but could only direct his shot onto the outside of the post in Fulham’s best chance of the game.

The home side was finally rewarded in the 55th minute as the ball broke to N’Zogbia after some good work by Weimann, and the Frenchman curled his shot into the net brilliantly.

Going behind seemed to galvanize Fulham, and it equalized in the 65th minute as a Bryan Ruiz corner was turned into his own net by Delph at the near post.

The Cottagers nearly took the lead just five minutes later as Ruiz found substitute Mladen Petric, but he could not direct his close-range shot on target under pressure from Matthew Lowton.

Delph then had a chance to atone for his earlier own goal in the 73rd minute as he found himself free at the back post but hammered his shot well over the bar.

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